April and Albert Jessen try to salvage personal belongings in the rubble that was their West Ipswich home.
April and Albert Jessen try to salvage personal belongings in the rubble that was their West Ipswich home. Rob Williams

Flood victims battle for pay-outs

AS THE flood clean-up continues in Ipswich, many residents are struggling with the added burden of not being covered by insurance.

In Darling Street West in West Ipswich, April and Albert Jessen cut a forlorn figure as they contemplated their plight.

April, 64, and Albert, 68, said they moved in to their new home on Christmas Eve after coming up from Melbourne.

Mr Jessen has kidney cancer and was told he had a better chance of seeing a doctor in Ipswich.

That’s not all they were told.

Mrs Jessen said when they were looking at houses they were assured the house they now live in wasn’t a flood risk.

“The real estate agent said the water only went half-way up the steps in 1974 and insurance company said it wasn’t a flood prone area,” she said.

“They checked it in Melbourne and insured it and now they are letting us hang.

“I just wish the insurance company would pay us out so we can buy a new home. We’re pensioners; we can’t afford a new house. You would think they would have a little heart.

“They’re not telling us anything. I’m going to see them in the morning face to face.”

Nearby in Challinor Street as the Queensland Times visited yesterday, Tom Ball sat on his veranda looking over a big pile on his footpath.

“I’m just sitting here having a cold beer waiting for them to come and pick it up,” Mr Ball, 77, said.

“I haven’t got a cold one; it’s only lukewarm.

“We’ve been here 40 years. I was a bit lucky in 1974. I was working at New Soles tyre service at the end of the town bridge and the boys pulled everything out and put it in the back of a truck.

“This time the water only came up to the eaves, but it came up so quick we couldn’t get everything out. We got some clothes, photos, a filing cabinet but everything else went. The whole house is out there.”

He said the water was knee deep by the time he and his wife Nancy, daughter Cheryl and son Shane got out.

Meanwhile, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the heartening show of support from volunteers in the community continued yesterday.

The Briggs Road Volunteer Registration centre processed 346 volunteers by 7.30am and a further 553 volunteers dispatched from the Camira Recreation reserve to help out in the eastern suburbs.

What you need to know

  • If you have suffered any damage at all during the floods and have an insurance policy then make a claim.
  • Make a detailed list of damaged goods and furnishings including models, serial numbers and age.
  • When filling in forms and providing details give the best information you can; do not guess or make assumptions.
  • Do not sign any insurance documents until you are confident you fully understand them.


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